A False Doctrine of the Mean

Aristotle says that ethike arete, excellence of character, is a disposition in virtue of which we are well disposed in respect of feelings (pathe'). Feelings are said to be such things as appetites, emotions such as anger and fear, and, in general, all conditions that are attended by pleasure or pain. (II 05bI 9ff) Taken in isolation, this might sound as though Aristotle makes excellence of character a merely inner matter, but this is not so. Most feelings involve a desire to perform certain actions, so being well disposed in respect of feelings involves being well disposed in respect of actions too. The occasions on which the two come apart are not relevant to anything I say in this paper so let us concentrate on feelings for the moment
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Joe Mintoff (2013). On the Quantitative Doctrine of the Mean. Southern Journal of Philosophy 51 (4):445-464.

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